The Spectacular of Vernacular

An easy way to talk about "the vernacular" is to consider the stuff of everyday life, to think about crafts and hobbies, to muse on folksy objects that communicate comfy or cozy. But if you're about to scream, don't. Because the artists in the Walker Art Center's new exhibition, "The Spectacular of the Vernacular," transform the materials, objects, kitsch, and quaintness of the homemade and hand-crafted inside out and upside down. Marc Swanson's spangled deer heads and antler piles, for instance, have a sinuous musculature and architectural form that's thrillingly sensuous. Siah Armajani's Closet Under Dormer folds into and angles onto itself with Wonderland-like mystery. The 40 artworks reconfigure farm life, rural buildings, street life, the open road, carnival culture, commercialization, domesticity, and tourism. Instead of cozy, expect complexity. Friday's Walker After Hours Preview Party features cocktails from an outdoor ice bar, hot cocoa, hot dish appetizers, and DJ Jake Rudh from 9 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are $30. There's also an opening-day gallery talk with Darsie Alexander at 2 p.m. Saturday, January 29. (Dario Robleto, Demonstrations of Sailor’s Valentines, Materials: cut paper, various seashells, colored wax, cartes de visites, silk, ribbon, foam core, glue)
Jan. 28-May 8, 2011

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